A tiny hole in my molar, some dozen years ago, led to two root canals and a traumatic tooth extraction that fractured my jaw. (I wrote about it here and here.) After living with the bigger hole, the hole left behind by my tooth, for several years, I decided to fix it. It took two bone grafts and a sinus lift to prep my jaw. My implant arrived in June 2014. I remember flaunting my sweet new tooth. Sent a playful pic to my husband.
But lately, my new tooth has felt a little wiggly. Implants aren’t supposed to wiggle.
So yesterday morning, I walked into my oral surgeon’s office to get it checked out. Not easy these days: he’s in the city, I’m an hour away by train, I’ve got work and three young kids. But I arranged for it.
Over three hours later, I walked out, new bone in jaw, tooth in hand. The oral surgeon had seen what I now know was inevitable: holes. Holes in my gums, holes in the bone surrounding the implant.
Past bone grafts had been scheduled in advance and done with deep sedation. But yesterday, when the doctor swept in to say he’d cleared some time and we should try saving the implant right now, I agreed. Uncharacteristically, I lay rigid throughout the surgical procedure, even during the 20-minute intermission clamping down on iodine-soaked gauze while an assistant walked ten blocks south to another office to grab some more bone. Toward the end, as the local anesthetic began wearing off, I wondered why he was flossing my teeth. Then I realized he was stitching.
A molar-sized hole is back for another four months or so. I should have guessed my permanent fill would not be permanent. Stories about holes don’t have endings.
Oh, my — the presence of a piece of my own present your post has triggered.
Right now – since the March 30th 2020 oral surgeon appt is now pending IF, if for April 30.
Why? Texas & The Coronavirus here has not yet peaked. Offices have closed, in wait.
I am smack between a perfect beginning half of an unrelated set of 2 implants & bone grafts — and the future 2 caps built and installed. …And with two (fortunately) gifted dentists, the other being my regular dentist.
I am glad to discover your work which I discovered this morning re-reading The Writer’s Chronicle. A fortunate glance at the announcement of the 2020 Kurt Brown Prize included seeing you as a Creative Judge for it listed on the inside cover of February 2020. That led me to Google and your blog.
Thank you for writing on ‘holes.’
Sherry, I empathize! I sure hope you are able to schedule something soon, now that April 30 has gone and gone. Best best best of luck with it. It’s a much longer process than we want it to be. And thank you so much for writing!
You are so right — holes never end. When I was a child, dentistry wasn’t so slick. Does it hurt? OK let’s pull it. So I spent many years with large gaps – beyond holes. I had them plugged with 3 bridges. Now in the past year and a half all the bridges have come out — bigger holes. New bridges – spanning greater spaces – one has an interesting wiggle/wobble, one is all right and the other is a work in progress. I sympathize with you. Because I’ve never had an implant, I can’t go there.
Pain is pain is pain.
Your sympathetic Aunt
I’m so sorry to hear about your recent troubles. Issues with the teeth, gums, and jaw are particularly complicated and painful. Ugh!
Oh motherfuckingfuck. Can I say that on your site?? I’m so sorry. I hope you feel so much better soon, and I hope this graft holds. ERGH. Sending love and healing. xo
You can say it. I said something along the same lines yesterday, but only to the cars driving by the window on 93rd.
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